Thoughts from Hannah Foster on HATCH Presenting Series

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Thoughts from Hannah Foster on HATCH Presenting Series

           For the solo Nicole created on me for HATCH Presenting Series (April 30th, come!), my first performance with Buggé Ballet (pretty please?), she chose sections from Max Richter’s recomposed version of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Dutiful artist that I am, I started tuning into the music (both versions…through repeat listening, much to my roommate's dismay) and gathered some contextual background. On his impetus for the recomposing, Richter said in a 2014 interview with Classic FM radio: “When I was a young child I fell in love with Vivaldi's original, but over the years…I stopped being able to hear it as music…. I set out to try to find a new way to engage with this wonderful material, by writing through it anew.”

            I’m fascinated by this idea of re-writing. As artists, we do this all the time. We re-write old stories in familiar mediums—recomposed symphonies, re-staged ballets—and also translate them into new ones: fairy tales become films, poems are realized as dances, paintings inspire literature.

            Vivaldi’s Four Seasons actually had a poetic as well as a musical debut. Four sonnets with corresponding sections (spring, summer, autumn, winter) were released with the symphony in 1725, giving Vivaldi’s masterpiece a narrative element. With the accompanying words, the music comes alive with images of brooks winding through spring woods, summer skies laden with thunder clouds, wine-fueled harvest revelries, and perilous fissuring ice. Though it’s unclear who wrote these vivid stanzas, it’s safe to say that Vivaldi prompted a conversation between poetry and melody.

            Richter expanded this conversation and so, too, will Nicole and I. I don’t at all plan to evoke the scenes described in the poetry (stanzas from Autumn 3 and Winter 2); Nicole didn’t create the piece with these in mind. Nor am I aiming for a particular mood, since some of Richter’s re-composed sections strike a notably different tone (pun intended) than the originals.

            But I do want our audience to know about Four Season’s rich content/context: the many mediums its been translated into and the people—composers, musicians, writers, choreographers, dancers—behind its many re-writings. From music to music, word to music and back again, music to dance, these reincarnations exist not as consequential pieces, but as an artistic whole.

Nicole is planning to realize each of Richter’s movements in dance: the larger, longer piece will develop over the course of the year.

On Saturday, I hope you see that we are just scratching the surface.

 

Winter (Concerto No. 4 in F Minor)
Largo (section 2)
To spend quiet and happy times by the fire
While outside the rain soaks everyone.

Autumn (Concerto No. 3 in F Major)

Allegro (section 3)
The hunters set out at dawn, off to the hunt,
With horns and guns and dogs they venture out.
The beast flees and they are close on its trail.

Already terrified and wearied by the great noise
Of the guns and dogs, and wounded as well
It tries feebly to escape, but is bested and dies.

 

 

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Reasons from Quincie why you should come to our show this weekend!

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Reasons from Quincie why you should come to our show this weekend!

This weekend you’ll have the chance to see a great show! What makes this show so “great”? Glad you asked...

The genres of dance being presented are varied, covering the entire contemporary dance spectrum from modern to ballet all in one evening. There’s something for everyone!

Students (or those who have held onto their student IDs - hehe) can buy discounted student rush tickets, and you only have to show up 15 minutes early to claim your ticket!

Nicole’s piece is due to close the show, which means you’ll be leaving with a smile on your face! I am, to the best of my ability, speaking unbiasedly when I say that The Chicken Went to Scotland is a dance that stands out as a work that is uniquely high-energy, bright, and refreshing, and I think the way that it will make you feel is directly related.

Going to a performance = supporting the arts. Supporting the arts = showing presenters, funders, and the outside public that dance is a relevant and desired art form that needs room to keep growing. This is hugely important during a time when dance is being forced out of certain budgets and media outlets (*ahem* Nancy Walton Laurie and Time Out New York). Keep dance alive by showing up!

The show takes place at the Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater, which means you’ll get to sneak a peek at Robert Battle’s larger-than-life-sized portrait as well as throw back pictures of Judith Jamison and Mikhail Baryshnikov on the City Center stage.

There are three performances, so (almost) no excuse to miss it!

And also you are obviously guaranteed a huge hug after the show from yours truly… So see you there!

Tickets: http://www.buggeballet.com/performances/2015/4/24/jump-on-the-dancewagon-jdw

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Thoughts from Bo Pressly

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Thoughts from Bo Pressly

Buggé Ballet is catching time. We imagine it, we create it, we rehearse. The few hours we spend together are nothing but efficient. The company is forever in good spirits and the work shows.

Nicole always brings the group into harmony and then begins her work. The process is quick, and material is generated then set. The company consists of professionals that are nothing but collaborative and open. A joy it is working with Buggé Ballet.

To support Buggé Ballet's Indiegogo campaign: http://igg.me/at/buggeballet

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Thoughts from Michael D. Gonzalez

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Thoughts from Michael D. Gonzalez

Dancing for Nicole has always been a fulfilling outlet. In a sea of choreographers, she is the rare gem that pulls from her past to create a distinct voice and light style. As a performer it's a treat to explore the lighter side of dance every now and then. Now, do not confuse "light" for "simple" or "basic," because that has never been the case for Ms. Buggé. On the contrary: her work, though usually character in its presentation (a rare treat to find these days), stems from a deeper concern for the human condition. Especially from a social perspective.

All of Buggé Ballet's repertoire have that spinal-connection of interpersonal relationships. A dancer is allowed to be human instead of a mere abstraction or moving body, a bold distinction from Nicole's many peers. Through her work she sets us, her dancers, up to explore our more social selves, taking on a basic and distilled idea and sifting it through layers of complications. The audience is presented with not just "the idea," but the idea from a human perspective. The academic exploration replaced by a need to tell a story. To get a point across. That is Nicole's forte and token voice. She shares her perspective through storytelling.

In that sense, Ms. Buggé reaches from and gives honor too her classical ballet background with extreme clarity. She sees us for the people that we are and plays amongst the personalities we put forth. It broadens what she demands of us, as well. Not just technique and an aesthetic style, but acting and character play, developing emotional layers and attachment that is rarely asked of from a dancer these days. It gives us the expressive platform we rarely get.

Not to mention Nicole's work is just so rewarding. Not just for the performers, but for the audience, too. It transcends what we, the dancers, experience and draws the audience in. It's an external moment that everyone in the room can share and "get in on."

In Nicole's newest work, "The Chicken Went to Scotland," her flair for storytelling continues and grows. We are exploring real and current themes, such as cultural trade/influence and how it molds or isolates a person. On top of that, we are also working on distinct characters and the relationships that would natural blossom from their interacting. It's a new and exciting exploration every day, slowly etching and refining the work under many equally intelligent and creative voices. To see what happens when the chicken does, indeed, go to Scotland, come see Buggé Ballet's production in the Jump on the DanceWagon series at the Ailey City Group Theatre April 24th through the 26th

To support Buggé Ballet's Indiegogo campaign: http://igg.me/at/buggeballet

Tickets are available online at www.jdw2015.brownpaperticket.com

For more information on the series visit www.jumponthedancewagon.com

For a more detailed look into Nicole Buggé's productions and company development visit www.buggeballet.com 

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Thoughts from Paige Grimard

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Thoughts from Paige Grimard

 In 'The Chicken Went To Scotland', I am the chicken. Bawk. I am very excited for this role because I have been told that I am no 'ordinary chicken'. Nicole discussed with me that I am a high fashion lady who goes to Scotland during the 1920s. (I was slightly relieved to find that we are speaking metaphorically about the chicken.) Snooty, and slightly vain, I enter the piece without giving the other characters more than a glance as they dance around in a very carefree nature. Throughout dance, I appear as a total misfit, but at some point I let go of my chic ways and join in on the fun.

Although we have only had a handful of rehearsals so far, I think it's coming together very well. We are working quickly to prepare the 25 minute piece for the end of April. There's a lot to do, but we are also having so much fun in the studio. When Nicole choreographs something, she knows exactly what she wants, but when she sets it, she's open to working with us on what might work better, or what we can tweak and change to best showcase the dancers. The other 5 dancers and I are so dedicated to the process. It often takes collective brain power to figure things out! 

I love the creative process and I think we are putting together something clever and fun. I also know I have 25 minutes of dancing ahead of me including a 4 minute solo. We are getting our stamina up and working hard in the studio. See you from the stage! 

Chicken-out. 

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Thoughts from Ali Block

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Thoughts from Ali Block

"With Buggé Ballet, I have found that family dynamic that can so easily go missing in the freelance world."

     I moved to New York City in August 2014 to take a new direction with my dance career. After
five years as a dancer with various full-time ballet companies, I decided to take a leap of faith
and pursue a life as a freelance artist. My new lifestyle has proved to be quite the adventure and
has provided me with a new set of opportunities and challenges. In the past six months, I have
worked with seven different ballet and contemporary companies and a number of different
choreographers. I began working with Buggé Ballet in January and my first performances with
the company were at Jazz at Lincoln Center at the Booking Dance Festival. I am excited to be
back in the studio with Nicole and some of the other company members as we begin the
rehearsal process for our April performances at the Ailey Citigroup Theater, and my second
project with the company.
     Although I have only just begun working with the company, I can already sense something
unique and special in the work environment. One aspect of full-time company life that I have
really missed is the family dynamic that develops from working so regularly with a consistent
group of people. Here in New York, I have worked with some wonderful artists and made some
great new friends in the process, but as a freelancer, I am usually on my own to determine when,
where, and with whom I take class. I bounce from STEPS on Broadway to Peridance to
rehearsals all over the city with various companies, and, in that sense, I am very much on my
own as an artist. With the dancers of Buggé Ballet, however, there is such a warmth, an
openness, and a beautiful sense of camaraderie. I was welcomed in for my first project and
immediately felt comfortable with the people around me. I never felt like “the new girl” or like
an outsider. I only had two days of rehearsal with the full group to jump into two ballets for the
Booking Dance Festival in January. This was quite a stressful, high-pressure situation, but my
fellow dancers were incredibly supportive and committed to making me feel prepared,
comfortable, and welcome. Even now, we have had just a few rehearsals for our April
performances and I already feel so comfortable on both personal and professional levels with the
group of six dancers involved. With Buggé Ballet, I have found that family dynamic that can so
easily go missing in the freelance world.
     Another reason that I have loved my time with Buggé Ballet is that Nicole is a person before
she is a director. Often, I have found that directors get so wrapped up in their work, their
choreography, and the product that they forget to treat dancers as human beings. Nicole has a
special way of being both a friend and a choreographer simultaneously. She maintains her
position as our director and demands respect in and out of the studio, but she never forgets that
her dancers are human beings with individual needs and emotions. It is rare and special to find
that in a director.
     I am really excited about this new project, and I am looking forward to working more with
Nicole and the wonderful Buggé Ballet team!

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Final Day in Edinburgh

As we close out our time in lovely Edinburgh the dancers had a show filled day with two street performances on the Royal Mile and then one last Booking Dance Festival run! The energy on the Royal Mile was exhilarating! 

Performing on the Royal MIle with Booking Dance Festival

Performing on the Royal MIle with Booking Dance Festival

Dancers Paige and Mara shared some reflections on there time here:

Mara: It is incredible to be exposed to such quantity and variety of performance, and I am so pleased to share this experience with a wonderful group of dancers.

Paige: Seeing other shows in the Fringe has been incredibly inspiring. Every artist and performer is beyond passionate and enthusiastic to share their craft. I have never seen more receptive and supportive audiences. Being able to dance and share my passion with other performers, choreographers, and audience members from all over the world is overwhelmingly rewarding. i wish every artist could have a taste of what its like to be part of the community in Edinburgh during the Fringe. 

 

 

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Thoughts from our dancers

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Thoughts from our dancers

Fireworks from Edinburgh castle.

Fireworks from Edinburgh castle.

Buggé Ballet has had a busy past couple of days here in Edinburgh. We had a successful opening with Booking Dance Festival and two additional fun performances. The dancers have been enjoying themselves both onstage and off immersing themselves in the Fringe spirit.

Promoting the show at the EICC.

Promoting the show at the EICC.

Here are some thoughts they wanted to share with our blog readers:

Brittany: Being a part of Booking Dance Festival at the Fringe has been such an incredible and inspiring experience. Being able to watch so many diverse artists in both the Fringe and our own festival has been so fun and has allowed me to see performances that I may never experience in the states. It's such an honor to share the stage with incredibly talented and hard working artists. Performing in Scotland (and being abroad for the first time) has pushed me beyond my boundaries and feel I'll be returning home with a new drive and inspiration.

 

Quincie: It's exciting to see how enthusiastic people are about what we are performing. I'm eager to get in the studio to create new work once we return to NYC. One of the greatest things about coming to Scotland to perform is that we have the ability to view dance that is part of a different community of artists.

Tommorow, we will share a post with thoughts from our other two fabulous dancers, Paige and Mara! 

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Dress rehearsal day!

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Dress rehearsal day!

It's theatre time! We spent our Sunday afternoon exploring the beautiful Edinburgh International Convention Center (EICC) and reconnected with our fellow Booking Dance Festival dancers and staff. 

View of the EICC stage.

View of the EICC stage.

We were excited about our action-packed schedule including five performances, a community outreach show with a children's musician, and street performances on Edinburgh's famed Royal Mile.

Today, we just finished a successful tech rehearsal and are heading to our dress rehearsal. It's an amazing feeling being on such a huge stage! The girls are pushing themselves to travel and use up every bit of the huge stage! 

The girls in front of the EICC with the Booking Dance Festival poster!

The girls in front of the EICC with the Booking Dance Festival poster!

The entire company can't wait to watch the other pieces and keep building our Booking Dance Festival community!

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First day in Edinburgh

After a short ride across the pond, we are here! We enjoyed flying together and taking selfies of each other sleeping. 

Thumbs up for flying! 

Thumbs up for flying! 

After a quick shower, we hit he ground running!

The girls on our quaint cobblestone street.

The girls on our quaint cobblestone street.

We stumbled across a quaint craft fair. Paige loved all the fun Scottish terroir souvenirs and men in kilts. After Al, Nicole, Brittany, and Paige visited Edinburgh Castle, walked the Royal Mile, and checked out a comedic street performer. Quinicie and Mara walked through the city, caught a comedy show, and even met a Scottish man from China who took them down the royal mile.

This morning we are all up and taking a group hike to Arthur's seat.  

 

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We're off to Scotland!

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We're off to Scotland!

Hello and welcome to our blog! We are beyond ecstatic to be leaving on our first international tour! Artistic Director Nicole, Dancers Brittany, Quincie, Mara,  Paige, and Managing Director Al cannot wait to be in Scotland!

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